If you’re in the market for a digital piano, then you might be wondering what are the best digital pianos under $1,000? Well, if you fall into this category, and you’re having trouble determining what piano to buy (and why), then you’ll enjoy this article dedicated to breaking down all of the top affordable piano keyboards on the market.
|Yamaha DGX 670|
The Best Digital Pianos Under $1,000
The best digital piano under $500 is the Alesis Prestige Artist.
- Pros: Features a very attractive OLED screen.
- Cons: Doesn’t offer many voices.
The best digital piano for beginners (or intermediate players) is the Yamaha DGX-670.
- Pros: Piano Room feature does a brilliant job setting ambiance in your practice room, giving you the sensation that you’re playing a real grand piano in a concert hall or stage.
- Cons: The large amount of features could be overwhelming to some beginners. Speakers are not very powerful compared to the competition.
The best digital piano (regardless of price) is the Roland FP-E50.
- Pros: The Interactive Mode is a true winner because of its ability to simulate the sensation of being in a band.
- Cons: It’s expensive—just a hair under $1,000.
|1) Yamaha P-515|
|2) Casio PX-S3100|
|3) Casio PX-870|
|4) Roland FP-E50|
|5) Roland FP-30X|
1) Casio PX-S3100
Now although the Casio Privia line has expanded to include the Casio PX-S5000, Casio PX-S6000, and Casio PX-S7000, I still think the Casio PX-S3100 offers you great value when it comes to finding the best digital pianos under $1,000 on the market.
Granted, it’s not going to give you better sound than the Casio PX-S5000. However, for less than $900, the Casio PX-S3100 provides you with very good sound, touch response, and notable features that will satisfy all beginners (and many intermediate piano players, as well).
When it comes to finding the best portable piano on the market, size is a huge factor. But here, the PX-S3100 has been slightly retooled to have a smaller footprint, which of course will help the everyday gigging musician.
In fact, compared to previous Privia’s that have been on the market, the PX-S3100 is 43% smaller than its predecessors. It’s also not overly heavy (coming in at 25 lbs.), so those looking for one of the best portable Casio pianos can look no further than the PX-S3100.
There’s also kind of an embarrassment of riches with the PX-S3100. You get 700 tones to play with here, alongside 200 rhythms. And for gigging musicians who are always on the go, you’ll be happy to know that this piano runs on batteries (6 AA batteries, to be exact), along with operating via an AC adaptor.
- You Might Also Like: Casio PX-S1100 review
- You Might Also Like: Casio PX-S1100 vs Yamaha P-125
- You Might Also Enjoy: Casio PX-S1100 vs Roland FP-30X
2) Kawai ES120
The Kawai ES120 supplants the popular Kawai ES110 portable piano—and it’s got big shoes to fill. I found the Kawai ES110 to be one of the best digital pianos for those seeking a portable instrument, so the Kawai ES120 has a lot to prove.
The biggest things most want to know is the following: Way has improved on the ES120? What makes it worth its price tag? Well, for starters, the Kawai ES120 provides you with Responsive Hammer Compact key action with graded weighted keys. This key action is going to help reproduce the feel of a real piano.
Now the Kawai ES120 doesn’t have a ton of sounds, but the ones they have are pretty great. Here, you have 8 piano sounds—including the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Concert Grand Piano. You also have a total of 25 sounds here, as well.
In a comparison between the Kawai ES120 vs Kawai ES110, the ES120 wins again when it comes to speakers. The Kawai ES110, for example, boasted 14 watt total sound thanks to two speakers (7 watts each).
Kawai has improved on this significantly with the Kawai ES120, as the ES120 features 20 watts total sound coming from two speakers (10 watts each). In short, you’re going to be getting a much more sonically powerful digital piano with the ES120.
For those that prefer (or need) to use headphones, Kawai has made improvements in this area too. With the ES120, I like the fact that Kawai uses Spatial Headphone Sound (SHS) technology. This means that the sound you hear coming through your headphones or earbuds is going to sound much more rich and realistic. It should also cut down on ear fatigue, which can be a real problem if you practice for hours on end, day after day, with headphones on.
3) Roland FP-E50
Now the Roland FP-E50 barely comes in under $1000 ($999) but is arguably the most exciting digital pianos (and easily one of the best Roland digital pianos) you’ll find on the market).
So what makes this Roland piano so fun and exciting? Two words: Interactive Mode. Sometimes playing or practicing alone can be, well, lonely, and I love how the Roland FP-E50 turns a solo playing experience into an interactive one.
If you’re unfamiliar with the mode, let me break it down for you. On the FP-E50, the piano will track your piano playing—and then adjust the accompaniment whenever you begin to play with more intensity.
So for example, if you begin playing the piano in a more mellow fashion, the FP-E50 will track and remember that. Then, when you begin playing faster, the Interactive Mode will pick up on that and the arrangement will become heavier in order to keep pace with your energy.
In short, what I like about this mode is that it mimics the sensation of being in a live band. If you were the lead of the band, the other bandmates would have to adjust to the energy or intensity you output.
If you go slow, they have to go slow. If you pick up the pace, they have to pick up the pace. So I absolutely love that the Roland FP-E50 is fully capable of simulating that.
4) Yamaha DGX-670
The Yamaha DGX-670 replaced one of the most underrated and best Yamaha digital pianos of the past few years: the Yamaha DGX-660.
Now one of the things I love about the DGX-670 are the keys themselves. Some pianos in this price range that serve as competitors to the DGX-670 have shiny or plasticky looking keys. But that’s not the case with the DGX-670, as the keys not only feel nice under the fingertips, but are matte in their appearance. It lends itself to looking and feeling a bit more premium and substantial compared to its competitors.
The Yamaha DGX-670 also comes with a LCD screen, something I’m always a big fan of when it comes to digital pianos. One of the nice features you can interact with on the screen is called Piano Room. Here, you will see an image of a grand piano appear on the screen, and you can click buttons to manipulate how the DGX-670 will sound depending on your selections.
So for example, have you ever wanted to play a Pop Grand sound with the grand piano’s lid position open—all while performing inside a concert hall-like environment?
Well, even though you don’t have a grand piano and aren’t playing inside of a concert hall, the Yamaha DGX-670 can simulate all of this for you. With just the push of a button, you can be playing your keyboard as if it’s a grand piano inside a concert hall—completely factoring in the acoustics of a concert hall, too!
And if you want the sound to come across more muted (or perhaps a bit more bright), just toggle the Lid Position between Full, Half, and Closed.
The speakers on the Yamaha DGX-670 are not as strong and powerful as the Roland FP-E50 (discussed earlier), but I do love how feature-rich the DGX-670 is. This piano comes with over 600 preset voices, and it has a whopping 256 notes of polyphony, so you can rest assured it’ll be well equipped to keep pace with any complicated musical piece you want to play on it.
All in all, for about $850, I think think is one of the more underrated Yamaha digital piano keyboards on the market.
5) Yamaha P-125a
The digital piano that replaces the Yamaha P-115 is the Yamaha P-125a, and it’s definitely worthy of being on this list. Now, whether or not the Yamaha P-125a is worth upgrading to if you already own the P-115 is up for debate (in fact, check out our article entitled Yamaha P-115 vs Yamaha P-125 for more on that exact subject). But, there are a few improvements to the Yamaha P-125a that are worthy of an extra look.
First is the fact that the Yamaha P-125a can be paired with the Smart Pianist app–so long as you have an iPhone or iPad. If you do, you’ll be able to for everything from change sounds to enable dual or split more to recording and saving your musical masterpieces.
Sure, you can do this on the Yamaha P-115 using the Yamaha Digital Piano Controller app. But, if you have the P-125a and the Smart Pianist app downloaded, you can take advantage of a pretty cool learning feature called Chord Chart. What Chord Chart does is allow you to play a song from your iTunes library and the app will begin analyzing the song and display the chord symbols of the music.
This means that, as your favorite song is playing, you’ll be able to play along with it, allowing you to learn how to play some of your favorite jams.
Now, it’s important to remember that Chord Chart won’t be able to successfully analyze every single song from every music genre effectively. But, if you like songs that are in the same mold as Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” or Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” or Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” there’s a good chance that you’ll have a lot of fun and success with this feature.
Yes, the Yamaha P-125a is more or less the same size, weight, and has many of the same features as the Yamaha P-125a. But with richer, more lush sound and the ability to use the Smart Pianist app that features Chord Chart, I think this is a digital piano that’s incredibly awesome for beginners and certainly worth its $500 price tag.
Also, check out our Yamaha P-125 review, which is the successor to the Yamaha P-115!
6) Casio PX-870
The Casio Privia PX-870 (you can read our review of the Casio PX-870 here) is the top of Casio’s Privia line, and combines Casio’s AiR sound source technology along with a 4-position lid simulation that mimics the opening of a real piano lid. The piano is built with a Tri-Sensor scaled hammer action keybed and finishes it off with ebony and ivory textured keys to give it a real feel.
Casio PX-870 vs Yamaha YDP-145
Although the YDP-145 is a pinch over $1,000 (coming in at roughly $1,300, depending on where you shop), I wanted to take some time to compare these two pianos because they are two giant, popular pianos in the market.
The piano tone sounds great on the PX-870, and that becomes especially apparent thanks to a brand new feature with this piano. Because now, a new sound system embedded in the piano projects the music you play both upwards and downwards. This gives off a really nice, rich sound to the ears, as it attempts to mimic the sound and feeling you’d get if you were playing an acoustic piano.
The PX-870 comes with 256 notes of polyphony, so you can feel comfortable knowing that you’ll be able to play more complex pieces on the piano.
The Yamaha YDP-145 is also an excellent performer. Just about $100 more than the PX-870, the Yamaha YDP-145 offers the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) action. While not the “best of the best” key action available (in terms of the Yamaha Arius line, the best digital piano key action lies with the Yamaha YDP-184 or Yamaha YDP-165–both of which boast Graded Hammer 3). Still, the Graded Hammer Standard action is certainly good enough to give you the impression that you’re playing on a traditional piano.
One thing that’s not quite as good as the PX-870 is the speaker system. The YDP-145 features two oval (12cm x 6cm) speakers, as well as two 8-watt amplifiers. The PX-870, by contrast, rocks a two way, four speaker sound system (12 cm x 2, 4 cm x 2), as well as four 40-watt amplifiers.
7) Roland FP-30X
Now, the Roland FP-30X is a digital piano that can be had for approximately $700. It’a an 88-key piano that features a PHA-4 Standard keyboard.
This is of course a portable piano, but if you purchase additional accessories like the optional KSC-70 stand or the KPD-70 three-pedal, you can park this beauty somewhere in your home, with the pedals providing you more nuanced control over the music.
Roland FP30X vs Kawai ES110
Now, one digital piano that’s always compared to the Roland FP-30X is the Kawai ES110, so let’s dig into both a little bit here.
These two digital pianos are both portable, and to be honest, they are both a bit similar in heft. The Roland FP-30X is going to be the heavier of the two, coming in at 31 lbs.
Now, there are certainly heavier portable pianos, but if you truly want a digital piano that’s going to be reasonably lightweight (and priced close to the FP-30X), then you’ll want to turn your attention to the Kawai ES110.
The ES110, by contrast, clocks in at just 26 pounds.
Another thing I like about both of these pianos is that they both contain Bluetooth connectivity. This is always a nice feature, especially in this highly digital age, because now you can pair your piano to your iPhone or iPad and use either the Roland FP-30X or Kawai ES110 with an app like GarageBand or Notion (or whatever app you most prefer).
In the end, if sound is your sole focus, you might end up very happy with the Kawai ES110. However, if you are interested in touch and key action a bit more, it might be a wise decision to go with the Roland FP30X.
And that’s because, with the Kawai ES110, you might notice that there is a bit of noise or even a rattling occurring each time you hit or depress the keys. This can be, as you can imagine, a bit of an issue if you’re playing pianissimo.
At this time, I’m not quite sure if this is a manufacturing defect, or if it’s part of how the piano was intentionally constructed in an attempt to achieve a more realistic touch and feel on the keys.
There are even some who have experienced their Kawai ES110’s arriving with slightly inconsistent key spacing (see video above).
If you get an ES110 with no problems—awesome. But if you receive one that has a bit of key noise, key spacing, or outright key rattling problems, you might wish you had opted for the Roland FP30X.
- You May Also Want to Read: Roland FP30X review
- You May Also Want to Read: Kawai ES120 vs Casio CDP-S110
- You May Also Want to Read: Kawai ES110 here.
8) Yamaha YDP-105
The Yamaha Arius line of digital pianos is popular and very well known for pumping out quality console pianos that, when assembled onto a stand, can give off a fairly nice impression of an upright digital piano in your home.
But while the higher end models of the Arius line get all the love (the Yamaha YDP-145, Yamaha YDP-165, Yamaha YDP-S55, and Yamaha YDP-184 specifically), it’s the Yamaha YDP-105 that’s the excellent and very affordable option.
Now, the Yamaha YDP-105 features Graded Hammer Standard (or GHS) action, which is…well…not the best key action you can get from a Yamaha. It has “Standard” in the name, and it’s exactly that—more than adequate, but it’s the lowest key action on the Yamaha totem pole.
Yamaha YDP 105 vs YDP 145
Funny enough, despite the YDP-145’s cost of about $1,300 compared to the YDP-105’s estimated $1,100 price point, they both share the GHS key action. It’s not until we start comparing the YDP-105 to the YDP-165 that we start seeing a stark shift in the key action within the Arius line.
The YDP-105 is certainly an awesome digital piano for the money, but it is important to be aware of a few things in comparison to a piano like the 145.
For example, with the YDP-145, you can record your very own performance thanks to a built-in recording function contained within the digital piano. All recordings are made via Standard MIDI file (SMF) format. You can also record up to two tracks for simultaneous playback. So if there ever comes a time when you want to record both hands separately, you can do just that.
The YDP-103, by contrast, doesn’t have this built-in recording feature.
And if piano pre-set song variety is something that’s important to you, it’s important to note this difference well: while the YDP-105 is a great digital piano for beginners because it’s a well built machine, it is going to be light on certain features. Specifically, the YDP-105 only comes with 10 piano preset songs and 10 preset demo songs.
That’s a drastically low number when you compare it to the YDP-145, which comes with 10 voice demo songs, along with 50 classic piano pre-set songs and even 303 lesson songs!
If the above features aren’t must-haves, you’ll likely be very happy with the YDP-105. And you’ll save a few hundred bucks, as well.
- You can read our review of the Yamaha YDP-103 here.
9) Yamaha P-71
So this digital piano is incredibly affordable, but you can’t go out into a typical store and purchase it.
And why’s that? Because despite the fact that the P-71 is part of Yamaha’s popular P-series of pianos, the P-71 is also an Amazon exclusive.
With that said, dollar for dollar, this is one of the better digital pianos you can buy on the market. And, weighing about 25 pounds, it’ll be extremely easy for you to pick up and carry to and from your home, or to and from different projects or gigs that you’re involved in.
Yamaha P71 vs Yamaha P45
So, the Yamaha P71 probably compares most favorably to the P45. The P-71 costs about $400, while the P45 barely rises above that cost at roughly $450.
So then, you might be asking yourself the following question: What in the world is the difference between the Yamaha P71 and Yamaha P45.
Well, here’s the kicker—nothing.
There actually is no difference between these two digital pianos. You’ll find their specs to be identical across the board.
But don’t just take my word for it. Even on Yamaha’s own FAQ page, someone from Yamaha answered a question asking about the difference between the Yamaha P71 and P45.
Their response? There are no differences. In their words, the “P-71 is identical to the P-45.”
So, if you like to shop on Amazon, it would probably behoove you to simply purchase the Yamaha P71 over the P45 and save about $50 in the process.
- You can enjoy reading our Yamaha P71 review here!
10) Roland FP-60X
Okay, to be fair, I cheated a little with this one, as this piano is just a hair over $1,000 (check out the Roland FP-30X listed above) if you’re truly looking for a sub-$1,000 piano). But this piano is meant to be the upgrade to the popular FP-60, and it’s actually the mid-tier offering of the X line–as the FP-30X is the cheapest and the FP-90X is the most expensive.
So what makes this piano so great? Well, outside of the great piano sound that Roland is known for (the 60X comes with SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine), you also get a piano with 256-note polyphony and a wide array of fun voices to play around with (16 piano tones, 18 electric piano tones, 18 organ tones, 27 string tones, 279 other tones).
The tones alone will keep you engaged and having fun for months on end.
A piano that features rich, room-filling sound, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better portable digital piano that’s as high end and genuinely great as the FP-60X.
The first Honorable Mention I’d like to add here is the Alesis Prestige Artist. This is a piano I had the pleasure of trying out in-person recently, and found it to be an excellent keyboard for those that are beginners. It doesn’t come with a ton of voices, but it’s simple to use, very responsive, has great adjustable sound and even comes with an OLED display screen.
Secondly, I think it’s worth mentioning another digital piano in the P-series line (and no, it’s not the Yamaha P-515—that’s far above the $1,000 budget we’ve set here).
No, I’m actually talking about another relatively new addition to the P-series line—the Yamaha P-121. This is a keyboard that features just 73-weighted keys, instead of the normal 88.
This smaller piano features some of the pretty cool features seen in the Yamaha P-125—like better, richer sound, a cool Table EQ feature (playing your piano on a hard surface, like a table, won’t stop your sound from reigning supreme), and the ability to use the Smart Pianist app, which I think is a pretty fun and interactive application.
Priced around $500 to $550, the P-121 is definitely a keyboard worth keeping on your radar. For some, it may be a utter deal breaker that there are not 88 keys present on the keyboard. But depending on where you are in your piano playing development, this might not be something that’s of too much concern for you.
What Makes a Great Digital Piano?
There are many things that make a digital piano great. Anything from the design of the piano to its range of selection, to its affordability can catch the attention of a consumer. Those that do well on the market tend to have a viable combination of many of these characteristics.
The best will set itself above all others by defining class and precision with the greatest selection of sound powered by the equally greatest technology. However, each piano player reserves the right to determine his own opinion about which digital pianos are really the best. A general consensus can be determined from the popularity and sales success of different models.
A quality digital piano will have a number of important features. Most piano players look for weighted keys and precisely engineered hammer action technology. This keybed design allows the piano to be graded, weighted, and strike almost exactly in the same manner as the keys on a real acoustic piano. The best digital piano will also feature state of the art wave sampling and audio generation technology, producing the most quality instrument sounds.
Sleek designs and portability features also play and important role, as well as electronic connectivity ability and features such as a digital piano stand or foot pedal. Of course, the price many times is the deciding factor, with the best pianos giving the consumer the most value for their hard earned money.
Best Selling Pianos on the Market
The Yamaha DGX-670 is one of the best-selling digital pianos on the market today, and it is because of the combination of size, compatibility, engineering, and design. It has full-length set of 88 weighted Graded Hammer Standard keys, with a whopping 256-note polyphony weighing in at only 25 pounds. Little details like having a sizeable LCD screen and the very fun Piano Room feature are icing on the cake.
Finding Used Digital Pianos
Perhaps you may not want to shell out a ton of money for a brand new digital piano. Instead, you might prefer to go the route of a used digital piano. Well, if you feel you fall into this character, here are a few older pianos that are worth a look on the secondary market (some of which are most ideal for beginners, while others are better for intermediate or advanced players).
Beginner vs Intermediate vs Advanced
Throughout the world of digital pianos there is a great range in variety concerning the expertise level of each digital piano. The variety found throughout ensures that no consumer should feel out of place using a machine he or she feels is too advanced or possibly not advanced enough.
Beginner and entry level piano players can find digital pianos for affordable and bargain prices, and still be able to find enough quality and precision to match a real acoustic piano.
Intermediate level players have a number of options, with many digital pianos offering a combination of features that aren’t too complicated and are also affordable. Expert and advanced level players will gravitate towards pianos with all the accommodations from the best technology, widest range of selection, and most fashionable design.
Some of the best beginner digital pianos can be found in each prominent brand. For instance, Korg features the Korg B1 digital piano (which recently replaced the popular Korg SP-170s). The B1 has everything a relatively new piano player will need (let alone someone with some experience under his or her belt) with a full 88-weighted keyboard, hammer action technology and 120 notes of polyphony.
Casio has a similar beginner model with the Casio PX-160, which also has scaled hammer action technology, full length of 88 keys, but only a maximum polyphony of 128 notes. The PX-160 replaced the very popular Casio PX-150, and remained a best seller on popular websites such as Amazon for quite some time.
Brand new to the world of piano and really need a solid starter keyboard? Well, you can and should strongly consider keyboards such as the the Williams Allegro, Yamaha NP-12, and the Williams Legato. These pianos usually range anywhere from $200-$400.
Intermediate digital pianos come with a much wider range of firepower. These pianos go beyond the elementary limitations and allow the piano player to record, compose, and enjoy a higher level of digital expertise.
One of these pianos was Yamaha’s bestselling P-105 (which was eventually replaced by the Yamaha P-115 and then eventually the Yamaha P-125), which is known for its combination of portability and style, all while encompassing 88 keys and Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard System.
A number of Casio’s Privia digital pianos fall in this category as well, with the PX-130, PX-150 and PX-160, and PX-350 all showcasing Casio’s Scaled Hammer Action System along with its Damper Resonance and AiR sound source. You can find most of these pianos for $400-$800.
Many of the advanced digital pianos are stage pianos, workstations, or upright console pianos. These pianos offer everything the designers have to offer, from sound systems, highest level hammer action, design, and quality. The Yamaha Motif XF8, one of the most coveted pieces of machinery on the market, is certainly one of these.
Other models in this category are the Yamaha P255 (which was replaced by the Yamaha P-515), Casio Privia PX-860 (which was replaced by the Casio PX-870) and other pianos in the Celviano, Clavinova, Arius, and MODUS lines. Any of these pianos can run you from $800 to upwards of $5,000.
Wrapping It Up
Well, as you can see, whittling down the best digital pianos under $1,000 is no easy task. But hopefully this article has helped you see that the best digital pianos don’t just come from one brand, or one price point, but are an eclectic mix of amazing instruments from brands like Roland, Kawai, Casio and Yamaha.
If this article helped you, we very much encourage you to read some of our other articles you might find helpful, such as:
- Casio CDP-S110 vs Casio CDP-S100
- Korg Kross 2 vs Roland JUNO DS88
- Casio CDP-S360 vs Yamaha P-125
- Casio CDP-S110 review
- Casio CDP-S360 review
- Yamaha P-45 review
- 5 Digital Pianos Advanced Players Will Love
- Digital Stage Pianos Under $2,000
And for anyone looking to save money, we encourage you to read our article about the Best Digital Piano Under $500.
And, if you’re actually willing to spend a little bit more more in hopes of attaining a little bit more quality, please be sure to read our article: Best Digital Pianos Under $2,000.
- And lastly, please “like” the Digital Piano Review Guide on Facebook!
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